Meat is one of the most important muscle spaces in animals. Its consumption derives from many centuries , when man began to emerge in his existence, it is one of the many reasons why we are alive, conscious and well fed.

Meat is a complex food, therefore, the vision of this article is to show how meat should be cooked in a healthy way , taking into account the different means of cooking and also certain tips for safe consumption.

What is the healthiest way to cook meat?

There are various ways to cook meat, be it beef, pork, among many others, with the aim that it is not raw , burned or in some cases, dry and without any flavor. For this reason, we want to share the best ways ways to cook meat, so you can take advantage of its benefits properly:  

1. Make it baked, grilled, roasted or boiled

These methods are essential for cooking meat at home, as long as you do not exceed garnishes, strong seasonings, apart from the fact that one of the many reasons for these cooking methods is that they do not require the use of fats or oils.

Carrying out the meats in the oven, on the grill (very well heated), roasted (also said, on the grill) and finally, boiled, is essential since some methods work to tenderize the meat properly, others prevent the loss of juice of it and maintains its nutrients.

Note: A Korean study carried out an investigation on the oxidation of cholesterol in various cooking processes in meat, concluding that grilling is the most ideal method and that it generates fewer calories. (1)

2. Limit the use of the grill or barbecue

Although grilling or barbecuing is healthy, as long as marinades or greasy oils are not used, it is also important to note that this cooking method should be very limited , since high temperatures release fat from the meat and thus generate certain toxic compounds. .

If you wonder what compounds are released? The answer is that they are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chemical substances from incomplete combustion of coal or substances such as meat fat (made specifically on grills).

Important: To prevent this problem, you must control the time when the fat dripping from the meat begins, the amount of heat and, apart from that, the use of very clean grills.

3. Avoid frying and coating it

There are reasons to avoid battering (breading with flour and breadcrumbs) and subsequently frying the steaks, as it mainly increases calorie levels and therefore higher fat compositions.

In this sense, the frying process generates oxidation of cholesterol , but specifically sterols (the chemical substance of cholesterol in the body that transports lipids), adding another relevant detail that is when vitamins or certain essential nutrients are lost in the food of origin. animal.

To highlight: A brief analysis determined the following: “High temperatures and the presence of water, oil or hot air cause various transformations of the food components during this processing” . (two)

4. Regulate the cooking temperature

This is an extremely relevant point, since the cooking temperature is necessary to eliminate viruses or fungi in meats, apart from the fact that, depending on the food, it softens it either in water, steam or in the oven, with times of 25 minutes to 30 minutes of cooking, without exceeding the hour.

You should know: In the case of meat, in a general and summarized way, the cooking temperature is estimated between 60º and 70º for the interior of the fillet, it is recommended that it does not go beyond 120º – 125º progressively, since this can eliminate toxic substances but also decreases vitamins, it is important to also control the fire that is used.

5. Avoid small cuts 

Great emphasis must be placed on this part, since the cut fillet is much easier to consume for many people, but this must be done after it has been cooked, not before, since there are details in the ways of cutting that few know.

The cuts of the fillets in very small sizes, promotes the ease of losing about 5 times more of the nutrients that the meat possesses, as well as the juice that it gives off, for this reason it is necessary to cook these foods in large sizes.

6. Add Natural Spices, Herbs, and Citrus

Seasonings beyond salt or pepper cannot be left aside, as they add flavor and delicacy to our food , however there are some products that have many chemicals, strong flavors and even contain many calories.

For this reason, we must focus on the use of natural and citrus seasonings, where lemon juice stands out, for example (due to its enormous amount of nutrients), parsley (which contains a considerable degree of vitamin C), rosemary and even dandelion , adding flavor and micronutrients.

Tips for cooking healthy meat

Knowing the recommendations for when to cook meats, we will present you something important for your mise en place (gastronomy term for preparing ingredients). Here are some tips for cooking healthy meat:

1. Select fresh and lean pieces

Regarding those who wish to consume red meat or beef, they must be attentive to the color of it, which must be red or cherry-red , apart from the appearance there is also firmness, where the upper part must be firm, but if you get it very soft and gelatinous, it is that it is in very bad condition.

Tip: If you want, you can eat other types of meat such as lean or white meat, which have less fat , are light and easy to buy, such as chicken pieces, white fish (such as turbot), turkey and even rabbit.

2. Avoid processed meats

The processed or altered food industry is frowned upon for the future and for consumption, since the most constructive criticism from the World Health Organization (WHO) says that processed meats are part of carcinogenic groups for humans. .

In this sense, the best-known processed meats are sobrassada (the least recommended due to its degree of fat) , sausage (including salchichón), black pudding, mortadella, bacon (bacon) and even canned meats.

To highlight: A study highlights that: “Bologna, like sausages, are scalded sausages made from fresh meat that is not completely mature . ” (3)

3. Soften the fibers previously 

When we talk about fiber in meat, we are referring specifically to muscle fiber, the one that is present in many types of meat but is almost impossible to chew, much less digest.

For this reason, it is recommended to soften the muscle fibers previously before seasoning and cooking . For this, the use of a kitchen hammer is chosen to hit the meat, thus breaking the muscle fiber tissues and making the fillet softer. .

4. Maintain hygiene of utensils and ingredients

You cannot cook with mess and contaminated materials, always try to wash the utensils you use at home such as knives, spatulas, among others. They must be thoroughly washed with soap and degreasers , which remove oils and remains lodged in them.

Note: The same applies to the ingredients, in addition to being previously washed in water, removing different dirt, it is also necessary that they do not mix together abruptly , for example, prevent the blood from the meat from falling directly onto the vegetables and seasonings.

5. Avoid excessive use of oil 

Both vegetable and olive oil can be healthy on some level and even help cook food better, either by adding flavor or preventing it from sticking to pan surfaces .

However, its use cannot be abused, many oils may not cook the steak properly and essential nutrients would be lost , but another point is that a maximum of one tablespoon of oil can be used to prepare the meat for cooking.

6. Add plant foods

A steak alone is not a good way to enjoy food, many will choose white rice or plantains as an accompaniment , even healthy salads made up of lettuce, onion and tomato , the latter suggesting the idea of ​​adding plant-based foods whatever the plate.

Due to the above, many foods of plant origin provide various nutrients for the body , among them we get carrots , corn, pumpkins, broccoli , cabbage, potatoes and asparagus included in the dish.

Note: A study highlights that: “the daily consumption of abundant vegetables and fruits is directly correlated with a lower risk of contracting diseases such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer and premature aging” . (4)

What is the best meat for health?

Many nutritionists recommend moderate consumption of red meat , specifically pork (including a good chop) , beef, lamb, and veal, as they have good levels of vitamins, minerals, and a variety of nutrients. proteins.

To highlight: If you are one of those who consume mostly lean foods, chicken, rabbit and some white fish are certainly recommended, the reason is that these lean foods provide antioxidant and anticancer properties.

Key Findings

  • The meats can be prepared by means of the oven, the grill or the roast 
  • Temperatures must be regulated for cooking , without exceeding 125° and keeping the ingredients neat. 
  • You must select fresh pieces and add enough salt or pepper. 
  • The best meats for health are beef, chicken and beef 

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